The Joint Venture sinks in Lowell’s Cove, Orr’s Island, on Nov. 22.
The select board declared the Joint Venture abandoned on Thursday, Dec. 30, the next step toward the boat’s removal from the bottom of Lowell’s Cove.
The 26-foot Silverton powerboat sank in the cove, on the southern end of Orr’s Island, on Nov. 22. Antonio DiPietro, of Bailey Island, owns the boat. When DiPietro did not remove the boat within two weeks, Harpswell Harbor Master Paul Plummer started the lengthy process by which the town can remove the boat.
First, the harbor master must deliver a notice of removal to the owner. The owner has 15 days to respond. If the owner fails to remove the boat, the select board can make a declaration of abandonment. The harbor master can then issue a summons for abandonment of watercraft, a Class E crime. Next, the town notifies the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, which notifies the boat owner again and allows another 60 days for the owner to act. After those 60 days, the Bureau of Parks and Lands can authorize the town to remove the vessel — usually with state funds.
DiPietro has said that he sold the boat soon before it sank, but Plummer told the Board of Selectmen that DiPietro “has made no attempt to give me the information of the new owner and also told me that he would be … in the process of getting that boat removed.”
“The boat still sits there today,” Plummer said at the Dec. 30 meeting.